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Update from the Alliance for Bayway Communities

The Alliance, which is now about eighteen months old, uses occasional email messages to the designated Member-Association points of contact to bring our constituents up to date on the projects that our leadership/working group is pursuing on behalf of our Member Associations. This email will certainly fulfill that same function. But, in addition, we'd also like to request a meeting with Board members from our 48 ABC Member Associations to review with you where we think the Alliance is headed, to review our progress on our projects, and lastly to solicit your feedback in person on our direction and how we should communicate back and forth with the Associations.

Accordingly, the Alliance will meet at

The Isla del Sol Yacht and Country Club
on
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 1:30 PM

We'd encourage as many Association Board members as possible to participate in about a ninety minute meeting on that date. A couple of Bayway communities have signed up for ABC membership via master community associations. We'd encourage those master associations to include their sub-association Board members in the April 5th meeting as well, so that we get the broadest possible advice on what to pursue and how to communicate. Knowing how many meetings that Boards schedule, we've shied away from adding to the burden with periodic ABC meetings, but we'd like to make an exception in this case in order to solicit your guidance on how to proceed.

Now, the more traditional aspect of our emails, an update by Alliance Project area:

Southwest Water Treatment Plant and Sewer System - You may recall that the Alliance has been in the thick of the plans to modify the City's sewer system since we first heard of the changes in November of 2014, and especially since the Southwest plant ( aka SWWRF -- and the sewer system near Clam Bayou) overflowed in August of last year. The August 5th event revealed major shortcomings with the City waste treatment system that had been swept under the rug for decades. In response to our frequent interactions and recommendations to the City Council and the City Administration, the City has spent almost $400,000 to review the condition of the system. The Alliance and Eckerd College are part of the review committee overseeing a System-wide engineering simulation and validation of the City sewer system. The system engineering study has a goal to prevent any future overflows in all but hurricane-type conditions. The study is being conducted in three phases. The first will report a plan of action to the City Council by April. System fixes will then be undertaken over the next eighteen months, with long term sewer improvements to follow during the third phase. We expect that tens of millions of dollars will be spent to ensure that wet weather Bayway sewage overflows are a thing of the past.

Landscaping - The City and DOT have been responsive to the ABC campaign to improve the plant health and visual condition of landscaping along the Bayway. The Alliance has been monitoring the condition of the landscaping, and directly requesting mowing services when the medians or rights-of-way start to become unsightly. The City's $600,000 upgrade to Bayway landscaping commenced installation in January at the eastern edge of the Bayway. Landscaping improvements will continue for several months, improving the ambiance of our area. We hope all have noticed that our "front yard" is much improved in appearance.

Safety and Security - One of the targeted areas of concern of the Alliance involves the inherent safety challenges presented by the interaction of automobiles speeding along the Bayway, and pedestrian and bike traffic along the new bicycle path especially in the vicinity Pinellas Bayway and Bahia Del Mar Boulevard North. We are continually monitoring the activity of drivers, bikers and joggers with the goal of providing a safe environment for all concerned and assisting the City, County, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in providing signage, education and enforcement of traffic laws. In the security category, Bayway automobile thefts and break-ins have decreased, but still occur occasionally - usually in unlocked vehicles containing keys and valuables in plain sight.

Bayway Telecommunications/Bright House Networks Contract - The Alliance has formed a team to engage Bright House Networks in an annual review of the bulk service agreement that was negotiated with BHN in 2013 and 2014. The contract calls for periodic progress reviews. The next one will take place this summer. Our telecommunications consultant has been reengaged, and we are developing negotiating objectives for the BHN review meeting. One of our reasons for desiring all ABC associations (including sub-associations) attend the April 5th meeting is to engender a give and take with our member Boards on what service and negotiating positions the Alliance should take with Bright House.

Outreach - We are in the process of meeting with County Commissioners and new City Council members to introduce them to the Alliance.

Membership - The Maximo Moorings Community has now signed up with the Alliance. With Maximo, we now have 48 Associations with 10,000 residents in our group. Welcome to Claire Karas and her Maximo neighbors, and thanks for adding in a large way to our impact!

Respectfully,
ABC Leadership Team

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